All You Need to Know About the Drug Celecoxib

The drug Celecoxib has anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects similar to non-selective NSAIDs. However, it produces fewer acute gastric lesions.
All You Need to Know About the Drug Celecoxib
María Vijande

Reviewed and approved by the pharmacist María Vijande.

Written by María Vijande

Last update: 27 May, 2022

The drug Celecoxib belongs to the group of selective COX-2 inhibitor drugs. It has anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects similar to non-selective NSAIDs. However, it produces fewer acute gastric lesions.

Celecoxib is prescribed to relieve the pain, inflammation, and also stiffness that can result from joint diseases. These diseases include arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.

It’s also useful in treating juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and even painful menstrual periods. What’s more, patients who have short term pain can also take this drug. For example, after surgery and after other medical or dental procedures.

How do I take the drug Celecoxib?

An adult woman with joint pain in the wrist.

This drug comes in capsule form for oral administration. In general, patients can take it once or twice a day and they can take it with or without food.

So that you don’t forget to take Celecoxib, try to take it at approximately the same time every day. Don’t increase or decrease the dose or take it more often than your doctor prescribes.

If you can’t swallow the capsules, or if the treatment is for a child, you can open the capsule and sprinkle the contents over some food to swallow with it.

Since the cardiovascular risk of Celecoxib can increase with the dose and duration of treatment, you should only take the lowest effective daily dose. In addition, the duration of treatment should be as short as possible.

Periodically, a doctor should reevaluate the response to treatment to assess its efficacy and safety. This is especially true in patients with osteoarthritis.

The dosage according to the issue at hand

For the treatment of osteoarthritis, the recommended daily dose is 200 mg once a day, or in two doses. In some patients, doctors may increase the dose to 200 mg twice a day to increase effectiveness. If, after 2 weeks, the patient doesn’t experience an increase in therapeutic benefit, then it’s time to consider other therapeutic alternatives.

The recommended initial daily dose of the drug Celecoxib for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is 200 mg, administered in two doses. As in the case of osteoarthritis, if necessary, doctors may increase the dose to 200 mg twice a day.

However, if patients don’t observe a greater therapeutic benefit after 2 weeks, again, considering other therapeutic alternatives will be necessary. The maximum recommended daily dose is 400 mg in either case.

Contraindications of celecoxib

The hands of an elderly man.

The use of this drug is contraindicated in cases of hypersensitivity to the active ingredient, to any of the excipients, and also to sulfonamides.

It is also contraindicated in cases of active peptic ulcer or gastrointestinal bleeding. As well as in patients who have experienced asthma, acute rhinitis, edema, hives, or other allergic reactions after taking acetylsalicylic acid or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Women who are pregnant or wish to conceive shouldn’t take Celecoxib. Although the potential risk of causing malformations in humans during pregnancy is unknown, it can’t be excluded.

Similarly, patients with the following diseases should also avoid Celecoxib:

  • Severe liver dysfunction
  • Kidney disorders
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Peripheral arterial disease
  • Established cerebrovascular disease.

Possible adverse effects

A woman taking medicine.

Like all medications, celecoxib can have adverse effects. Depending on the estimated frequency of occurrence, they are classified as follows:


  • Stomach pain, diarrhea, and gas
  • Dizziness and insomnia
  • Nasal congestion, sinusitis, and pharyngitis
  • Fluid retention with edema
  • Skin rash


  • Anxiety, depression, tiredness, blurred vision, muscle stiffness, and tingling sensation
  • Anemia, kidney or liver problems
  • High blood pressure or worsening of the same, palpitations
  • Urinary and mouth infections
  • Skin reactions such as hives

Rare adverse effects

This section includes adverse effects such as digestive ulcers and bleeding, intestinal perforation, inflammation of the esophagus, as well as difficulty swallowing. There is also acute pancreatitis, colitis, confusion, hallucinations, hearing loss, and aseptic meningitis.

Remember to consult your doctor or pharmacist if you notice any of these symptoms.

You may also be interested in: Gastric and Duodenal Ulcers


Currently, despite the various side effects of celecoxib, this drug is prescribed in certain cases. This is because the benefits of taking celecoxib outweigh the risks involved.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Puljak, L., Marin, A., Vrdoljak, D., Markotic, F., Utrobicic, A., & Tugwell, P. (2017). Celecoxib for osteoarthritis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

  • Steinbach, G., Lynch, P. M., Phillips, R. K. S., Wallace, M. H., Hawk, E., Gordon, G. B., … Kelloff, G. (2002). The Effect of Celecoxib, a Cyclooxygenase-2 Inhibitor, in Familial Adenomatous Polyposis. New England Journal of Medicine.

  • Singh, G., Fort, J. G., Goldstein, J. L., Levy, R. A., Hanrahan, P. S., Bello, A. E., … Triadafilopoulos, G. (2006). Celecoxib versus naproxen and diclofenac in osteoarthritis patients: SUCCESS-I study. American Journal of Medicine.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.